One of the best strategies to boost your business today in local business advertising is through internet advertising. In comparison with traditional forms of advertising like big billboards, TV commercials, and print advertising, internet marketing is the most affordable of them all and yet it is also one of the most successful marketing strategies. The reason is that the price of search engine marketing or online marketing is cost effective than that of the traditional form of advertising.What is Online Local Business Advertising? It’s an advertising method that takes advantage of the internet technology and the vast opportunity of the World Wide Web. Its main purpose is the targeting specific customers and delivering to them your business’ message. No matter what the agenda may be that you’re trying to deliver to the customers, but your message could be delivered via several strategies or methods. According to search engine marketing professionals, online advertising includes several funnels where you could deliver your message to the right target market. There are contextual ads and paid search ads on search engine marketing. In using contextual ads, its popular forms are banner ads, rich media ads, advertising networks, classified ads online, social networking ads, email marketing, and even e-mail spam (which you shouldn’t do by the way).Advantages of Online Advertising over Conventional AdvertisingDue to the rapid evolution of online technology, local businesses could greatly take advantage of it and reap its huge benefits to reach the local community customers. Several search engine marketing experts have disclosed several advantages of internet advertising compared to offline advertising methods such as TV commercials, billboards, and radio.Your message could be immediately published through your content. This is one of the many problems and struggles of companies, especially if the campaign is time-sensitive. It does take time to prepare offline advertising materials. On the other hand, through online advertising you can just hire search engine specialists and they can set you up an excellent campaign in no time.It is so neat to do advertising online because you can set quick and accurate scope of geographic strategies and of course at the best possible period of time. With this means of marketing, the interactive resources of online advertising has become quite successful. Social networking campaigns become so interactive that when a certain campaign goes viral, the value it adds to your business is limitless.Online Local Business Advertising and Unethical Online AdvertisingEven online, there are various kinds of unethical advertising or what we commonly known as illegal advertising. These include hidden pop-ups, cookie stuffing, and other black hat marketing. Some companies if they are not careful, could ruin their reputation if they don’t know that they are already involved in such illegal methods. Such kinds of strategies should be carefully avoided in Australia.
Everyone understands that the purpose of advertising is to raise the profile of your business and to draw in those elusive potential customers. While methods of advertising need only be limited by your own imagination, it seems obvious that choosing the correct method can make a world of a difference to the impact on your business. When considering this crucial decision of how and where you should advertise, there are 3 key points to consider:Will this form of advertising reach my target client group?
How much will this advertisement cost me?
Will I see a return on my investment?When considering these key points, it’s impossible to ignore the potential advantages of advertising online. Internet advertising has become the first choice for many businesses due to the potentially significant benefits it can afford. Here are just some of the reasons why advertising online could be the right choice for you:Be Kind to your WalletYour advertising and marketing budget will dictate how much you can afford to spend on adverts for your business; television, radio and perhaps even print advertisements may be out of your reach. The good news, however, is that many business owners are discovering that internet advertising is an affordable option. When you see colourful, dynamic, eye-catching advertisements online, don’t assume they’re out of your price range. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get for your money when you advertise online.Ready, Aim, Fire!Just as print advertisements are aimed at a specific target client group (you’re unlikely to see an advert for the latest mascara in Men’s Health), internet advertising is targeted towards those who are potential customers for your product or service. You have ultimate control over when and where your articles will be displayed meaning that you can manage your advertising effectively for maximum exposure and impact.The World is Your OysterYour website is like your virtual shop window. It allows you to have that shop window viewed around the clock in every country in the world. The potential to get your business noticed above and beyond your expectations is simply staggering! Where the limitations of a print or a television advert are obvious, equally obvious is the limitless potential of putting your business on a global stage and then showcasing your products and services to a potential audience of billions.Track your SuccessOne of the main advantages of online advertising as against traditional print adverts is the ability to track your conversion rates. This means that you can find out exactly how many people have viewed your advert and how many people come to your website as a result of a specific advert. The benefit of this is clear; if you know an advert is working for you, you’ll want to continue with it. If, on the other hand an online advert is failing to bring you any return you can discontinue it and switch to another more beneficial strategy.Stay FlexibleOne of the difficulties posed by using printed leaflets and pamphlets to advertise your business is that once they’re printed up, you’re stuck with them. Advertising online gives you the flexibility to make changes periodically and this can save you money (no expensive re-print), whilst continuing to create and maintain interest in your business by highlighting specific events, special offers and perhaps items or services that are particularly relevant at any given time. You’re likely to find that minor alterations to your advert will incur very modest charges and in some cases, no charge at all.
As a business coach, new clients often ask: “Coach Maurice, what is the best way/place/form of advertising?”The short answer is: none. There is no magic bullet. If there were a “best”, then everyone would use that method exclusively.There is however a little known key that relates to all forms of advertising. Mastering this key will allow you to maximize your advertising efforts.The majority of the time when, small business owners and entrepreneurs delve into advertising they take a universal approach. They do not realize there is an important dynamic to consider if they expect their advertising to be effective.This key is simply the difference between active and passive advertising. Understanding active versus passive advertising methods (and subsequently an active versus a passive viewer) will make the difference in whether your advertising brings explosive results or gets lost in the crowd.[Active Advertising]This form of advertising is considered active or intrusive because the viewers are passive, meaning they are not specifically looking for you or your service at that time. Radio, Television and Billboard ads are all forms of Active Advertising. The goal of active advertising is for your offer to catch a percentage of the people who see your advertisement at the exact right time and make them say “oh, that looks like something I need.”Active ads either catch a person’s attention or they do not. Just like with a billboard on the freeway, you have 1-3 whole seconds to get your ad to capture their attention enough to begin to get your message across.This means that if you do not interest a person within that time, they drive by, switch the channel or move their mouse to the upper right corner of your ad and press the [x] to close it.An effective active ad is one used to reach out and grab someone who is not particularly looking for your product or service at that exact moment.The idea is to generate name recognition and familiarity in the marketplace with your brand. Therefore, active ads are best suited for branding and positioning. They are mostly used to imprint an impression in a person’s subconscious so that when they are actually at a point of purchase, the buying decision goes in your favor.Although you can use them for lead generation, do not expect a high percentage of immediate response from active ads.[SUCCESS TIP]Whenever using active advertising, you must do a LOT of it (quantity and frequency) in order to be most effective. The reason you need to do a lot of active marketing, is because the target audience is passive. They are in the middle of doing something else, i.e. reading a magazine, watching a show or driving to work.Because they are passive in response to your ad, expect your response (as it relates to your ROI) to be lower than passive forms of advertising. This is because the majority of potential customers will not respond the very first time they see your ad. People are busy, and they need to be reminded of your business.Again, remember viewers are not necessarily looking at that time for what you have to offer. So you are in a sense interrupting their experience. This is why it is called “intrusive” marketing.SPAM is an example of active marketing that is seen as both “intrusive” and “offensive”.Make sure your advertising is intrusive, but not offensive.[Think about it] When was the last time you saw an ad only ONE time and responded to it immediately? How often do you have that type of immediate response to an ad? Do you usually need to see an ad a few times before you take action if it is not an immediate need?Ideally, when placing an active type of advertisement, you want to get a chance to be seen by the same people over and over with your exact same message. In the advertising business, this important technique of repetition is called “frequency”.[Frequency]Term used to describe the ratio or number of times an individual sees or hears the same advertisement. A person needs to repeatedly hear the same message in order for it to stick. The higher the “frequency”, the better response you will get.Frequency is a major factor in the response rate of any advertisement. You can see this in how often you see the same commercials on TV in a short time period.Frequency creates name recognition, brand familiarity and stability. All of which are necessary for positioning a product or service properly in consumers minds.Let’s use our billboard example again. A billboard gets a lot of frequency. They are often effective at branding because travelers usually use the same roads multiple times per week. This allows the same message to be presented repeatedly to the same people, day after day, month after month.Again, this method is best used for branding, because with the exception of a directional (i.e. Waffle House – next exit on right,) people are not likely to stop their car and respond immediately to a billboards offer.The other form of advertising is a passive type of advertising. They are called passive ads because rather than reaching out to the area a potential customer is, instead they sit and wait for the customer to find them. The viewer is “active” in that their goal is to find a specific advertisement with an offer related to their needs.[Passive Advertising]This form of advertising is considered passive because the viewers are active, meaning they are currently seeking out your type of product or service. Coupon Books, Yellow Page Advertising & Search Engine pay-per-click (PPC) are forms of Passive Advertising.People who see passive ads are already looking for your type of service and have actively made the decision to search out a provider. Usually they do not have any particular provider in mind, which is why they are looking for someone to service their needs.[APPLES-TO-APPLES]Be sure you properly compare advertising methods before judging their effectiveness. Do not confuse response with conversion.One frustration common among advertisers is the difference between the pricing and response rates of an active campaign compared to a passive campaign. An advertiser may compare a banner or pop-under-ads campaign to a pay-per-click campaign. The cost and response rate of both will be dramatically different.There are many, many reasons for this difference, but a main reason is they are not the same type of advertising. One is active, the other is passive.In general passive campaigns, like pay-per-click (Yahoo Advertiser Network, Google AdWords, etc) will always yield a higher conversion rate than a passive campaign, like banner or pop-under-ads. It is also much more expensive and difficult to track when using a passive form of advertising.The key reason there is better response rate in PPC (a passive form of advertising) is these are people who took the time to type in a phrase into a search engine and click a link or open the yellow pages and make a phone call. They are currently and actively looking for your service.Billboard or Pop type ads are active forms of advertising and show up in areas or on a site where your customer hangs out. However, the viewer, who is passive about (i.e. not currently looking for) your service at the moment, was in the midst of doing something else.It takes several impressions and reminders to get the passive viewer to RESPOND. Response, or taking action based on the advertisement, should not be confused with CONVERSION, or the viewer actually making a purchase (or other required action taken).This is the same reason Yellow Page inquiries are more expensive, and generally will yield higher response than something like Radio Advertising. This is due to the different focus of the viewers at the time of seeing the ad.[KEY POINT]DO NOT compare your active campaign response results to your passive campaign results. They will NEVER match, nor should they. When you attempt this, you are making an apples-to-oranges comparison.Most vehicles offer either active or passive. Sometimes, certain mediums like a magazine may have both active (display ads throughout) and passive (classifieds in back).Both methods should be properly implemented as a part of a well-rounded marketing plan.When creating a media mix, be sure to recognize whether the vehicle you are using is an active or passive vehicle.While in the creative phase, ask yourself:Are you intruding on a (passive) person’s activity and need to let them know what your ad is about?Or, do you just need to answer the need of the (actively looking) person’s desire?Be sure to create your ad according to whether the person is active or passive about your offer.[SUCCESS TIP] Before running an ad campaign, ask yourself, “If I were looking to buy this same product/service, what would this advertisement have to say to convince ‘me’ to respond right now?”Any advertisement that can answer that question is going to convert into lots of visitors. That is exactly what your ad must do.